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Study Finds Women With Private Cover Pay More Than Those Giving Birth in Public Facilities in Australia

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The out‐of‐pocket fees incurred by mothers with private health insurance are considerably higher than fees for mothers who give birth in public facilities in Australia, according to a new study, writes The Guardian.

The study author examined data including Medicare data, hospital data and pharmaceutical benefits scheme data from 186,789 women who gave birth in Queensland between 2012 and 2015. The care received by their 189,909 resultant children following their use of health services, until they turned one, was also looked at.

The women were separated into those who gave birth in the public or private system, and women were matched for similar birth circumstances, such as having a caesarean or giving birth vaginally.

The study, published in the journal Birth Issues in Perinatal Care, found that fees were consistently higher in all time periods for private births compared with public births: 500% higher in pregnancy, 1,200% higher at the time of birth, and 180% higher in the first year postpartum.

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